The Grind Pembroke provides a variety of services, often in partnership with other community organizations and agencies, to ensure that the needs of marginalized and at-risk community members are addressed to the extent that donations from individuals, organizations, businesses and fundraising events permit.
Sometimes, when one-time grants are available from government or private sector sources, The Grind can accomplish more to help those in need. However, as The Grind does not receive sustainable funding from government sources, it is limited as to the scope of services it can provide.
From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2021, The Grind has received considerable one-time relief assistance from the provincial government, through the County of Renfrew’s Community Services Division, and from the federal government, through United Way Simcoe Muskoka. This assistance has allowed The Grind to meet a huge increase in demand for help, particularly needs related to food security. Provincial assistance has continued to cover the first three months of 2022.
The COVID pandemic has challenged Grind services in other ways, particularly affecting the manner in which Grind staff and volunteers can interact directly with clients given the need to follow strict health guidelines for the safety of all those involved. Consequently, some service delivery had to change, other services had to be suspended – hopefully temporarily.
Adding to these challenges was the need, in late 2020, for The Grind to close its downtown Pembroke-located operation to allow for a gradual move of services to a new location – a decommissioned fire hall leased from the City of Pembroke. This facility has been undergoing renovations in four phases since.
- Phase 1 was completed by the summer of 2021, allowing resumption of on-site client services, administrative services and food services. The bulk of these renovations were made possible by a grant from the Resilient Communities Fund of the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
- Phase 2 renovations began in late 2021 and are expected to be completed in early 2022. This phase is being made possible by two federal grants through Employment & Social Development Canada – one from the Enabling Accessibility Fund for the development of an accessible single occupant washroom and accessible doors, and a second from the Reaching Home Capital Fund through United Way Simcoe Muskoka for the development of conventional men’s and women’s washrooms, shower/change room, janitor’s space and a client lounge.
- Phase 3 development of The Grind’s signature Coffee House – its main service platform – is awaiting funding confirmation.
- Phase 4 funding to create space for the food security operation and the renovation of the second level for administrative functions has yet to be identified.
The Grind’s full complement of services will be re-introduced as renovations and COVID health regulations permit.